Download A Companion to Ethics by Peter Singer PDF

By Peter Singer

During this quantity, a few of modern-day so much amazing philosophers survey the complete box of ethics, from its origins, in the course of the nice moral traditions, to theories of ways we should stay, arguments approximately particular moral concerns, and the character of ethics itself. The ebook may be learn immediately via from starting to finish; but the inclusion of a multi-layered index, coupled with a descriptive define of contents and bibliographies of suitable literature, implies that the amount additionally serves as a piece of reference, either for these coming afresh to the research of ethics and for readers already accustomed to the topic.

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But the authority of these ideals and standards is just what we are enquiring about. So that question is still with us. ii The Lure of Egoism and the Social Contract The notion that ethics is really just a contract based on egoistic prudence is indeed much simpler, but for that very reason it is far too unrealistic to account for the actual complexities of ethics. It may be true that a society of perfectly consistent prudent egoists, if it ever existed, would invent institutions for mutual insurance which would look like many of those found in actual human societies.

Its contemptuous attitude to natural motives has not worn well, and on the theoretical side it faces enormous difficulties in explaining the relation between soul and body. Yet dualism still Page 7 seems to be used as a background framework for certain topics, notably for our thought about other animals. Aristotle countered Plato by proposing a much less divisive, more reconciliatory metaphysic to bring together the various aspects both of human individuality and of the outside world. St Thomas followed this lead, and recent thought has in general been moving the same way.

P. cm. (Blackwell companions to philosophy) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Ethics. 2. Social ethics. I. Singer, Peter. II. Series. 5pt Photina Printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall This book is printed on acid-free paper Page v INTRODUCTION The title A Companion to Ethics may suggest a volume with short entries, in alphabetical order, providing summary information about leading theories, ideas and people in the academic discipline of ethics. As a glance at the outline of the volume (following this introduction) will show, this book is very different.

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